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The President speaks about the Affordable Care Act from the Rose Garden.
Brooks Kraft—Corbis for TIME


“Rumors of my political demise may be a little exaggerated,” Barack Obama said in April 2013 at a press conference marking the first 100 days of his second term. Things have been going downhill ever since. The President has had a rough year. His policies have been solid, especially overseas, but his execution has been sloppy to the point of disastrous. His decision not to intervene in yet another Middle East war — Syria — was prudent, but empty talk of “red lines” and “Assad must go” led Vladimir Putin, among others, to doubt Obama’s toughness. At home, his legacy will depend on the success of Obamacare, and yet the historic incompetence of its launch nearly destroyed the program. But he’s also right: we have seen only the first 66% of Obama’s presidency. He still has plenty of time to recoup and thrive … if he can only manage to manage better.

Klein is TIME’s political columnist

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